BACK STORY: ‘Oh my God. This is a recipe for disaster’
Our photographer tells the story behind the dramatic picture
Alon Skuy, Sunday Times photographer, recalls his shock when he realised a woman had become the target of angry protesters outside the ANC's headquarters in Johannesburg.
“Seeing this woman being kicked was a shock. She was clinging onto a bakkie, and then as she fell to the floor she was in such a vulnerable position. First she was hit with open hands, then she kicked two or three times.
“The scene was super chaotic. But it was something that I thought could happen.
“It was about 9am and I was outside the ANC’s headquarters, Luthuli House, in the Johannesburg CBD. There were about 20 to 30 ANC supporters outside with placards saying “Zuma Must Fall”.
“They were chanting and singing. At the same time there were murmurs that the Black First Land First (BLF) and other organisations would be coming in to show solidarity with Jacob Zuma – but there was nothing like that at the time.“I was standing at an intersection and thought to myself that there might be incidents later if police didn’t separate the groups.
“All of a sudden, a bakkie came from up the road – there didn’t seem to be police blockades or anything – with a whole lot of people on the back. I’m not sure how many, but it was packed, packed, packed.
“They were hooting and making noise and showing their support for Zuma in front of the other group. I couldn’t tell which organisation was being represented in the bakkie.“I thought, ‘Oh my God. This is a recipe for disaster.’The anti-Zuma group swarmed – the group had grown by now – and attacked the people who were on the back of the bakkie. One or two rocks were thrown. People started scrambling and frantically jumping off the bakkie. Falling, some onto the floor, some were hit and beaten.“That’s when I saw the woman.
“She was attacked while still on the bakkie, and then fell off the back and set upon again. Only then did the cops start waking up and intervened. The bakkie turned and disappeared.
“There was debris – some shoes and hats were left behind. Luckily, it doesn’t look like anyone was seriously injured.
“There was a lot of stuff happening. I was aiming my cameras at the action at the back of the bakkie. I was just trying to get a clean pic.”